Profile seeks to bring you a perspective on the FM world from the people who keep the lights on. First in our series is The Bid Manager – the person who has to reconcile the requirements of the client with the operational ability of the FM team to deliver.
This Bid Manager has been a project manager, tender manager and procurement manager for 20 years, working with some of the largest assets and infrastructure firms in Australia.
What has been your journey through the industry?
I started as a strategic sourcing consultant supporting clients outsourcing their property portfolios. Services included FM and Corporate Real Estate. I then moved to lead a bid development team for an Australian global IFM* and CRE** provider. I have worked on PPP***s, mid-priced bids and global bids.
How much operational advice, from FMs and Suppliers, goes into a typical bid?
Operational teams need to fashion the service delivery model and provide guidance on how the service will run. This is the basis for a successful bid that sets the scene.
Is the market busy? What sort of events can lead to a surge in RFPs?
I can't comment on current busy-ness but I believe it is. Activity is generated by government contracting requirements for fixed term contracts and by business looking for more efficient management of its assets. I note that many industrial portfolios are now outsourcing.
What is the biggest hurdle to overcome with potential client objections?
Balancing the need to respond positively to a client with what can practically be implemented. Some demands are not achievable and the maturity, transparency and professionalism of the relationship dictates how to manage these issues.
Are there any operational things that potential clients mention? Such as the need for Quality Assurance, or a focus on OHS?
All clients want quality and safety to be at the maximum level. They don't always see that this comes at a cost.
Any advice on how a firm can get the best results out of its Business Development team?
The best way to leverage a bid team is to engage them actively in how the business is evolving. Use their expertise as they are (or should be) across all aspects of the business. They are a good set of eyes and ears.
Where do you see the industry headed, from the BD side of things?
More relationship based arrangements and a fragmentation of service offerings to leverage evolving new skills and technology.
What's a bid or business practice that you worked on are you particularly proud of?
Using the skills and expertise of my team members to produce great material that provides a clear picture of how the service will work.
Are you in the FM game and want a chance to discuss your role? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) – Consolidation of all services into one contract with one provider to have consistency in pricing, quality and communications.
**CRE – Corporate Real Estate
***Public Private Partnerships. Where a state or federal organization is the client.